By Brad Segall

FRANCONIA, Pa. (CBS) — The union representing police officers in Franconia (Montgomery County), Pa. is asking the township to delay planned layoffs to see if they can come up with other ways to pay the bills without compromising public safety.

The planned layoffs are scheduled to take effect this Saturday.  The township plans to let ten employees go, including six police officers — about a third of the department.

Township officials say they can’t afford to pay them anymore, because of a budget shortfall.

But union attorney Richard Poulson doesn’t believe the financial situation is as dire as the township is making it out to be.

“They are going to go from having a minimum of two officers on the street at all times to one, so one officer will have to protect the entire township.  It’s a very large township in terms of square miles,” Poulson tells KYW Newsradio.

He is asking the township to take a step back and delay the layoffs until they can review the finances.

Poulson believes there are other ways they can solve the problem.  The union has also filed a grievance over the scheduled cuts.